Ad Supported Media Hitting An All Time Low

Okay, I’ve had enough. Websites such as the one featured in the screenshot above that “humbly request” you turn off your Ad Blocker have hit an all time low.

Listen, I understand that advertisement supported content is a thing, and it’s how most publications make their money. But here’s the thing: You offer this content completely free by choice. It’s our (the viewers, readers, or whatever you choose to call us) choice whether or not we want to view your website with or without ADs.  It’s one thing to give a nice message asking you to please disable, but still allowing you to view the content. It’s a whole other thing to put up a “walled garden” prohibiting users from viewing the content unless they view your ADs.

Full disclosure: My website features ADs. It’s an AD supported website. I’ve always been very up front about that.  But here’s the kicker: If you want to use an AD Blocker on my site, it is absolutely your right to do so. I will never, and I mean never force you to disable it just so I can make a few cents off of your view. 

I believe the alternative to forcing people to disable their AD Blocker in lieu of viewing should be to offer a “Premium Subscription” service. Oh wait, that would mean you would LOSE page hits, right?

I am not targeting or attacking US Gamer specifically, this was just the one that sent me over the edge.  I’ve been running across this more and more lately — and it’s just disgraceful. Especially when you lie and say that using an AD blocker keeps the content from happening. Actually, YOU do that. You.

Stop trying to make people feel like they are stealing from your families just because we choose not to get bombarded with irrelevant ADs .  I’ve always believed that great content brings engagement and revenue. Not deceptive practices.

What really tears it for me is they give users INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO DISABLE IT.  I’m pretty sure people that use AD Blockers already know the ins and outs of it.  Below is a screenshot to show what I’m talking about.  The second screenshot shows the options of how to disable for the standard (and most popular) AD Blocker, AdBlock.

This was only tested on Google Chrome, but I am sure the same happens in any other browser you might choose to use.

Finally, what a lot of these content creators don’t seem to understand is how very little control they have over the ADs that are display on their respective websites.  Whether it be what the AD itself actually shows — or where the physical manifestation of the AD actually takes place.

I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to view a website (mainly on a mobile browser — but I’ve most definitely experienced it on the desktop as well) and the AD(s) would completely take over an article rendering it unreadable. Or even worse, send you to an outside page either automatically or by hot click.  (Hot click meaning the whole entire page is just waiting for you to tap or click it to take you somewhere else)

Help! WordPress for iOS won’t upload anything!

Who this may apply to: Users of WordPress for iOS who keep getting a “Failed” error message when trying to upload photos and/or videos.

Sometimes, we really just overthink and over complicate the obvious. You’ll see why I’m saying this in a little bit.

What exactly happened: I was trying to update my Matt Fowler’s Snaps page, which seems like a simple task. No matter what picture I chose, what time of day, or how hard I held my thumbs — the dang thing just kept saying “Failed”.  It would sometimes even crash the app.

So I took the issue to Google, as most of us do these days, and found this solution:

Add these lines of code to your root .htaccess file:
php_value memory_limit 128M
php_value upload_max_filesize 128M
php_value post_max_size 128M
php_value max_execution_time 120

Seemed simple enough. Did that. Didn’t work. Removed that line of code immediately — because obviously that’s not the issue!

I thought and thought and thought. What on earth could be causing this? They used to upload just fine! Wait a minute… LIGHTBULB! I just recently upgraded my iPhone, and restored it from an iCloud back up.

Went into the account settings for the site and reentered my site password. Lo and behold they are uploading again. I cannot believe I let such a small oversight get the best of me.

Who does this solution really apply to? Users who recently restored their iPhone from an iCloud Backup (though I imagine the same would apply to an iTunes backup) and just thought Apple’s iCloud was sophisticated enough to keep this small tidbit of information within the WordPress App.

Then again, maybe this problem falls on the WordPress App developers.

Regardless, I hope either solution helps out someone.

Let’s Go Live Again

A call for help: Which is the best live streaming service to use these days?

A long time ago, I used Justin.TV — It was simple, free, and easy to use.  However, that service shut down.  Kind of left me stranded.   Any suggestions?

Here is what is ideal:

  • Free or cheap — I don’t go live often enough to need something extremely fancy.
  • A chatroom would be nice, but not necessary. We can always use social media to communicate.
  • Embeddable — Not a huge fan of just having the stream on the host’s website. I might want to put it other places, ya dig?
  • Half-ass customizable. Enough said.

Check out my contact page or drop me a suggestion on twitter.


The Times, They Are a Changin’

Dr. Manhattan How many times have we seen a post start out with that title? A lot, I know. Overplayed, yes.  However, extremely relevant. You might have noticed that this site looks completely different. Or, you may be here from some weird search engine result and have no idea who I am or what this place is. Hopefully, you newbie you, are saying to yourself “Damn, that’s a mighty fine looking website!

Apparently, the days of having colorful backgrounds and flashy images are over. The people have spoken, and I’ve listened. You like it bland, flat, and fast. This new design is my answer.  Loyal readers will know that this place has seen one too many facelifts, as I tend to get bored with one design and go onto another.

This time I had speed in mind. That’s also why there is no longer that dreadful “/life/” redirect mumbo jumbo.  You may have not even noticed it, but I did — point being: it’s gone.  I’ve also focused a lot on the mobile version of my site.  I couldn’t believe the numbers when I saw that a good 47% of you are looking at my site on a smartphone, tablet, or other mobile device. (Other mobile device? Like a Grandpas’ phone? Yes. One of those.)

This seemed to be the easiest transition from one location to another, but there may be some broken links that I missed. I apologize in advance, and ask you shoot me a message and let me know — I’ll get it straightened out ASAP. I hate leftovers.

You might also notice that there is HTML5 and CSS3 everywhere. You’re welcome. Again, speed was key.   Even though I’m leaving old browsers out of the picture, most of you should have a great time here.

There is definitely more to come to this site later (Like sliders — and app reviews) but it didn’t feel right slapping a new design on here and not doing my ever traditional “DID YA NOTICE??” post.

Now, to find a nice image for this post… Ooh, I just had a great idea for one. Props for the people who get the reference.

NFL Mobile as an Internet Browser?


This doesn’t make any sense to me. This is the dialog box I get when I click on links. Why is NFL Mobile an option?

Well, I went ahead and tried it for shits and giggles. Verizon wanted me to subscribe for the service,  and since I’m not a huge football fan (except around super bowl times),  I declined.

I’ll never know what could have happened. I know one thing for sure: I probably wouldn’t have been able to read why choosing a tricked out iMac over a Mac Pro is a better idea.

Still, this seems like an odd bug… but a humorous one none the less.  Does the NFL Mobile app open links within the app maybe? My football fans can fill me in on a later date. In the meantime, I’ll stick with normal non-footbally apps.

The Death of iTunes Ping: Apple’s Failed Social Network

Following today’s Apple Keynote, their music social network (called Ping) experiment silently received a death notice. However, most people didn’t even know about the social network in the first place.

Before we get into why this never worked, let’s detail exactly how we knew it came to an end. Apple announced an abundance of new gizmos, including the iPhone 5 and a new iPod Nano & Touch. Another huge announcement was the new re-imagined design of iTunes.

Tech Pundits quickly picked up from live blog screenshots that the new version of iTunes did not have the word Ping anywhere on it. This came with little surprise, as Ping had received what I call the “Buzz” effect.

To explain this effect in further detail, I’m relating this to Google’s first social experiment, called Google Buzz. Once Google allowed users to feed their twitter posts into Buzz, that was all users ever did. Myself included. I never saw a reason to actually visit Buzz’s website, even though their was a comment system there, and you could actually post original content into it. It seemed easier to just feed my tweets into Buzz and allow my followers to comment or “like” posts on there. This worked well for awhile, but it eventually became nothing but another twitter feed.

This is ultimately why Google shut down Buzz. This same effect happened with Ping. Users (mostly musicians — as it was supposed to be a music social network) simply re-pumped their tweets into Ping and that was that.

Also, the most important reason Ping failed was because nobody had any clue it existed. This was because of a disagreement between Apple and Facebook. Since the Mountain Lion release, and the latest version of iOS, Apple and Facebook have since patched things up — but all too late.

In theory, the idea of seeing what your buddies (or favorite celebrities) bought on iTunes was a great idea. But, you HAD to be in iTunes to see it. If Apple had made connections early on with Facebook to allow for “frictionless sharing” — then the network could have possibly survived.

However, CEO of Apple Tim Cook is quoted saying “We tried Ping, and I think the customer voted and said ‘This isn’t something that I want to put a lot of energy into.’“

So it’s a possibility that even if Facebook had allowed for this sharing early on, Apple still would be dumping it on the 30th.

It started in September 2010 and will be put to rest on September 30th, 2012.

Some users are generally worried about their data they have posted on Ping, and whether or not they’ll be able to retrieve it once the service does shut down. I’m sure Apple will have some sort of an export option, but I can’t think of very much important information that I’ve run across on Ping, let alone anything worthwhile that I’ve posted.

Apple has already killed all known links to the service from their site.  Also, if you try to sign up for an account (why on Earth you’d want to I’ll never know) you’ll see this message:


Did You Know Facebook Is Using You?

How many times have you seen on the right hand side of the page “Jane Doe (your friend – in this example) likes Pepsi” – or Verizon Wireless?  The company or product doesn’t really matter, because if you haven’t changed your privacy settings, it’s targeting your friends with your identity whether you like it or not.

Now, even in mid stream of your wall, you’ll see a post (typically a photo – but not always)  that a certain company page has made (in this example we’ll use Red Stripe Beer) and says Friend X and 3 others like Red Stripe Beer. Then it gives you a nice little option to like them (because if you are seeing this – chances are you don’t already “like” that page.

This is a real sneaky scheme that Facebook started awhile back, and snuck it into our privacy settings automatically and thus forcing users to opt-out manually, instead of doing the ethical thing and asking if this is what we’d like to do.

I’ve been on Facebook since 2007, and I feel that as a veteran member – I know it sounds cocky – I expect a little better treatment.  It’s bad enough they sneak these kinds of things in with new users, but some of us have been “around the block” so to speak and we’d like a little bit more respect.  Or at least like a little bit of royalties in return, but – we did agree to the TOS when we signed up – and that’s what they would argue if you took them to court.

However, there’s a shiny golden idol in the dark thicket. Also known as a real easy way to disable this annoyance – once you know the steps. Facebook is most likely counting on the common user to not dig this deep into the privacy settings.

Unless you like the idea of Facebook using your name for profit, follow along below:

  • First off, go ahead and navigate to Privacy Settings.
  • On the very bottom, where it says “Ads” select Edit Settings.
  • Now you’ll see two different groups, one called “Ads shown by third parties” and another called “Ads and friends”
    • It disgusts me how they say “Ads and friends” – makes it sound like a damn game. (I guess it is for somebody…but not us!) Anyways…
    • On both of those categories, select the link below giving you the option to Edit these nasty settings.
    • On the “Ads shown by third parties”  — they claim they aren’t offering this… but it still has the option of “If We Allow This In The Future” – and you’ll want to select No One on that Drop Down Box, then save your changes.
    • On the “Ads and friends” – you’ll see an example of the ads I was talking about.  Where it says “Pair my social actions with ads for” you are going to want to again select No One and save your changes.

They claim these facts on their Ads with Friends:

  • Social ads show an advertiser’s message alongside actions you have taken, such as liking a Page
  • Your privacy settings apply to social ads
  • We don’t sell your information to advertisers
  • Only confirmed friends can see your actions alongside an ad
  • If a photo is used, it is your profile photo and not from your photo albums

But I’m not buying a bit of it.  I feel if you share my name with even my friends that I “Like” a product – shows a false sense of interest.  Even if I liked the page, doesn’t necessarily mean I support it.  I know it sounds ignorant, but just because I liked Charmin Toilet Paper doesn’t mean that’s what I use. Get what I’m saying?

That’s all I’ve got for now friends.

Relevant targeted Ads — MY ASS! 

Apple Podcast App

iTunes has become the go-to place for Podcasts, and is the primary source for most people’s subscriptions. However, syncing them with your iOS devices has been, if nothing else, trivial and a little wonky. This would leave people with podcast fatigue. In other words, people would stop listening to a show because it was way too much of a hassle to have to download them on your computer, then wait 20 to 30 minutes  (if not longer) for them all to sync to your iPhone, iPod, or iPad.

I’m assuming Apple has finally heard our war cry on this matter because on June 26th, 2012 — Apple finally released a Podcast App for most of their iOS devices.  It wouldn’t be Apple if they didn’t leave some of their older devices in the dust. 

Here is what Apple has to say about the App:


Podcasts app is the easiest way to discover, subscribe to, and play your favorite podcasts on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Explore hundreds of thousands of free audio and video podcasts from the Podcasts Catalog, and play the most popular podcasts, organized for you by topic, with the all-new Top Stations feature.


• Enjoy all of your audio and video podcasts in a single app
• Explore hundreds of thousands of podcasts including shows in over 40 languages
• Try the innovative new Top Stations feature to find new podcast series in a variety of topics, including arts, business, comedy, music, news, sports, and more.
• Browse by audio or video podcasts, or see what’s most popular in Top Charts
• Tap Subscribe for your favorites and automatically receive new episodes for free as they become available
• Stream episodes or download to listen while offline
• Skip forward and back using simple playback controls
• Turn on Sleep Timer to automatically stop playing a podcast while listening in bed
• Share your favorite episodes with friends using Twitter, Messages, and Mail
• Optionally sync your favorite episodes from iTunes on your Mac or PC
• Sync your episode playback for seamless transition between devices


• Requires a device with iOS 5.1 or later
• Optionally syncing episodes requires iTunes 10.6.3 or later
• Streaming or downloading episodes requires Internet access over a Wi-Fi or cellular data connection


Without any warning, Apple released this App, and some cover art may be a little distorted until every Podcast producer gets around to changing their cover art to the required 1400 x 1400 resolution Apple now requires in their Podcast Creator instructions. 

Of course, there have been plenty of alternatives for Podcast consumption rather than iTunes. I recommend Instacast or Downcast.

Easter Egg:  Click the album art while listening to a Podcast to see a nostalgic (and sadly retro) tape deck player!



Maybe you didn’t know…Google Music

This isn’t exactly a new service, by any means, but I don’t think it’s gained nearly as much traction as needed.

Google Music (now known as Google Play Music) is a free service provided by our friends at Google that allows you to upload 20,000 songs to the cloud — and stream them anywhere on your Android or iOS device.  All of this can be done — completely free!

If you are that select few that has more than 20,000 songs, additional storage can be purchased. But, let’s face it, most of us don’t have that many songs — so this really is a great deal.

Also, the uploading couldn’t be more simple.  All you need to do is download Google Music Manager (available for Windows & Mac), which allows you to upload your entire iTunes or Windows Media Player library in the background — with little to no intervention needed on your part.  Plus, you can set it up to where new tracks added to your library are automatically uploaded to Google Music.

That’s frictionless sharing if I’ve ever heard of it!

Even if you don’t like the idea of streaming your music to your device (maybe because of bandwidth restraints) you should at least look into Google Music as a great backup resource.  And you really can’t beat the price.

All of these services Google started offering really makes sense, especially after the release of the Nexus Q and Nexus 7.

Let me know what you think in the comments, or get at it me on Twitter.

Why Do We Trust Anything On The Internet?

Now, I’m sure most of you are thinking: “Well, I DON’T trust anything on the internet!” And good for you, because most people don’t.

However, there are a few people out there that rely on the internet for reviews of either restaurants, apartments, or any other product. It isn’t abnormal to look up the reviews. After all, if you are planning on spending your hard earned cash on something — shouldn’t you at least get your money’s worth?

I even fall a victim to customer reviews sometimes, especially on websites such as Amazon or Newegg. If a product has a higher percentage of negative reviews rather than positive, I’m least likely to purchase it.  EBay is another website where customer feedback is important.  If your profile has a large percentage of negative feedback on your profile, you are definitely least likely to make a sale.

But what about Yelp? Do we really trust Yelp? And should we? There has always been this conspiracy theory that reviews are bought rather than thought. In other words, people pay a decent amount of money for people with a trustworthy account to post positive reviews for their product. In some circumstances — they even pay for people to write nasty reviews for their competitors.

But, honestly, how do you market a job like this? And what kind of classifieds AD company would even allow this type posting?  Hmm.. Maybe Craigslist?

I ran across this today while searching around the Los Angeles Craigslist:


Wow.. For a measly $20 of your own time you can write  reviews for someone.  Notice: They don’t say what kind of review nor for who/whom.  Guess now it makes sense as to why I italicized the word “decent” up above.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not dismissing the idea that everybody could use $20 here and there — I mean every bit helps right? But do you really want to earn it by lying?

I’ve blurred out the email address because I believe this is a disgrace to the open internet. We know it’s been happening, but this finally cuts the cake to the core.  If cakes had a core, that is.

Look At The Positivesguess this company  could be paying you to go visit the restaurant or venue and see if you actually enjoyed yourself or not… But that’s highly doubtful.

What do you think?

Oh, Microsoft: Some Things Never Change

You have to love Demo Fails. Every company has them, and they only get funnier each time.

Many of you know already that on Monday, June 18th 2012,  Microsoft announced that they were entering the tablet hardware department with Microsoft Surface.  But that’s not really what I’m here to talk about.

It wouldn’t be a Microsoft product without a few bugs, crashes, or fatal errors. The poor guys couldn’t even make it through an announcement Keynote without a “FAIL” via Internet Explorer. This video is going viral, with nearly 2.5 million views in a matter of days.

I’ll give Windows President, Steven Sinofsky, some credit.  He handled it like a pro. Though his voice shutters a little bit, and you can see him repeatedly pressing the Windows (home) button trying to escape this conundrum,  he prevails and changes the subject.  This wasn’t the only “fail” at the keynote. The other, though more subtle than this one, could have been as extreme as an App crash or something less severe as in someone forgetting to have the login credentials preloaded. When trying to show off the Netflix app, he simply says “…Oops” and grabs another tablet from underneath a nearby table. Whew, good save.

This does set Microsoft back about 15 years, when another fatal crash is remembered during the Windows 98 launch,  where the Blue Screen of Death rears its ugly head right in the middle of a demo for “Plug and Play”  Bill Gates smiles and very smoothly says “That must be why we’re not shipping Windows 98 Yet”
Check it out:


Getting Back To Social

The internet is a very social place, we all know this much to be true. What we don’t know, even though we think sometimes we do, is how powerful social networking can really be. You would think, someone like me, who tweets as much as I do, would have put two of the most popular websites that I run (Brick Hill Publishing & Unfettered Ministry) on this social ecosystem by now.

I am referring mainly to twitter, because Brick Hill Publishing already has all of it’s books on Facebook, but I (for some odd reason) never bothered with twitter. Unfettered Ministry, on the other hand, doesn’t have a Facebook page, but certainly has a twitter account.  I started the account in early 2010, but for some reason never followed through with it. My guess is that I forgot about it, or forgot the password, or an equal share of both of those excuses.

Whatever the reason may be, I’ve fixed it.  They are both on the twittersphere full time now, so I employ you to follow them for book & author updates or religious articles on everyday life.

Without further ado, I give you Brick Hill Publishing & Unfettered Ministry on twitter. (click either one of them!)

Maybe Twitter Doesn’t Hate Me After All

You might have noticed my last post, where I talked about “Twitter Hating Me”.   I didn’t mean that they actually had a grudge against me, but that post received a lot of feedback — most of it positive — and left people wanting to know what ever happened with my account.  After about six hours of patient waiting, my account was restored.   During the wait I saw the “This account is suspended 404 error” and the “The page no longer exists 404 error”.

It made me nervous, because I’ve never been suspended before, so twitter received more than enough emails from me. And, as you could tell, I received the same canned response from them everytime. So,  with all that pressure I hope that Twitter really doesn’t hate me, because I have no problem with them.

I just wish they would alter their automatic spam filtering just a little bit.  Mainly because I’ve had a twitter account for what seems like forever and I’ve never once triggered a red flag.  I never did get an answer as to why it happened.  Your assumption is as good as mine.

As my dear ol’ Grandpa would say, it’s water under the bridge now.  And he’s right. My account is fully restored and superbly operational.


Twitter Hates Me

I originally posted this on Google Plus. However, I feel my blog readers should have some insight as well.

I’ve been suspended on Twitter. This has never happened before.. Honestly, I find it kind of funny.

Twitter thought my account was “Spamming” because I was posting so much about Apple stuff under the hashtag #WWDC .  At least that is my assumption of why I was suspended — because I sure as hell can’t get an answer from anyone.

I’ve contacted them to restore the account, and received multiple canned responses that say the following:

Twitter has automated systems that find and remove multiple automated spam accounts in bulk. Unfortunately, it looks like your account got caught up in one of these spam groups by mistake.

I’ve restored your account; sorry for the inconvenience.

Please note that it may take an hour or so for your follower and following numbers to return to normal.


Well, it’s been way over an hour and my account is still suspended. Sometimes it shows up that it doesn’t even exist.

I can’t get a human to answer me, so I just keep getting these canned responses. If someone on here happens to work at twitter, can you look into this a little bit for me?

I do this every year with big keynote announcements. Never once have I been flagged as spam. Did somebody report me?  I’ll never know because a robot handles all the requests!


I had at one time talked to a “Buster” at twitter about some unrelated issues. (You can read about them on the Google Plus thread comments — no sense in reposting them here)  He/She was unable to help me with my request, but it still gave me reason to believe that Twitter had some humans available to handle their support.

I understand that suspended account restoration requests are something that Twitter probably receives on an hourly basis, but when an account is falsely subjected as a spam account, there should be an honest human being to come out and say “Sorry, We Fudged Up”  Hopefully, I’ll start tweeting again soon.

Hell, I’d talk to fail whale if I knew it would get me somewhere. This is ridiculous.

It is also a little tedious at the hoops you have to jump through just to get a canned response.  Once you submit your support ticket to twitter, you receive an email that gives a very bland explanation of what they think the solution is to the problem. You Must REPLY to this email to even receive consideration of a canned response or maybe a human response.

Once you have sent a simple “Yes, I still want support” reply back. You wait.  If you receive a canned response, you won’t be able to reply to it. If you try, you get an email saying that you’ve replied to a closed ticket. Gee, thanks. I didn’t even get the chance to say Thank You, Fuck You, or Have a Good day.

If you somehow receive an email from a human, you are able to respond freely, but in about 2 hours or so the ticket will be closed. Then you get yet another email asking you to rate your support. Wow, you are putting yourself on the line there.

Microsoft Photosynth: Truly Amazing

With the announcement of Microsoft Photosynth finally coming to Windows Phone, it bears some notice that I should have covered this earlier. My deepest apologies. I’m covering it now.

Now,  what exactly is Microsoft Photosynth you are asking? Well, the folks at Richmond cooked up this little application that allows users to stitch together high quality images into a virtual panoramic image.  As an example, here is what this wonderful program can do:

(You’ll need Microsoft Silverlight to view this)

Please: Do yourself a favorite and hit the full screen option. You won’t hurt my feelings.  Zoom in a little, or click the examples on the right to targeted locations. The amount of detail you can put into these panoramic shots is incredible.

Now the Windows Phone users can enjoy this functionality just as much as everyone else.  Well, at least most of you can.  There are reports that some Windows Phones are not being supported. Bummer!

Let me know what you think!


The New iPad: What Did I Get Right?

Apple's New iPad

Apple announced the new iPad on March 7th. They aren’t calling it the iPad 3, and they aren’t calling it iPad HD. It’s just the new iPad. That’s it.  Honestly, it’s a smart move. At least this way they aren’t starting to sound like a Rocky sequel.

I’ve watched the keynote and read the blogs. I’ve also scoured Apple’s website.  I had some predictions, so let’s go into detail on what they were and what I predicted wrong & what I predicted right.

  • 4G LTE Capability Predicted Correctly! 
    This was a prediction that I really shot in the dark. I honestly figured Apple would wait to put 4G in the iPad when 4G was more wide spread. Right now it’s only available in limited places.  It’s growing, but still limited.  Only 4G LTE for USA, so AT&T and Verizon it is.
  • Siri for iPad  Sort of Incorrect. . .? 
    Siri herself isn’t on the new iPad, but they did implement a type of voice dictation.  If it’s anything like the voice dictation that was originally released for iOS 4, then it’s probably pretty terrible.
  • More Storage Options, Perhaps 160GB models. Predicted Incorrectly
    Nope,  same ol 16, 32, and 64 Gig options. Wishful thinking never fails us. 
  • Retina Display  Predicted Correctly! 
    Wow, a million more pixels then the common HDTV!!?? Holy cow! A whopping 2048-by-1536-pixel resolution at 264 pixels per inch (ppi) to be exact.
  • Better Rear Facing Camera  Predicted Correctly! 
    I had thought that Apple had did away with the “iSight” name, but they have brought it back in the Rear Facing Camera on the new iPad. (5 Megapixels)  — Record up to 1080p videos!
  • Improved Front Facing Camera Predicted Correctly! 
    They’ve renamed it… it’s now the Facetime camera.  It’s probably better (it can’t be any worse), but they are only saying “VGA” quality photos on their site.
  • Discounted Pricing on iPad 2 models Predicted Correctly!
    Starting at $399. You can’t beat the price, but you might wanna save up $100 more and just get the new iPad.


They also announced a new Apple TV for the same price of $99, with support of videos at 1080p resolution. But, we don’t care about that when they shove a new iPad in our faces.



iPad 3 Announcement Possible

Apple's Invitation to the March 7th Event

The big talk of the day is Apple’s Keynote set to happen early this morning in San Francisco. Will they announce the next version of the iPad? Another iPhone? Nobody knows, and Apple likes it that way. With all the click bait articles out there, you would think Apple was completely open about their products, but we all know they are not.

I’ll be following the event from home via live blogs and watching my favorite geniuses cover the event over at TWiT.  One of these days I’ll make it to an Apple event, but that is in the future. And I usually only live three days in advance.

To honor the event, I have a few predictions. I do not think they will announce a new iPhone, at least not now. I see them waiting to do that around WWDC. The last two iPads have been announced at the same place they are holding this event today, so it only makes sense that they would announce the iPad 3 (or whatever name they decide on) here.

Finally, here are my predictions:

  • 4G LTE Capability
  • Siri for iPad
  • More Storage Options, Perhaps 160GB models.
  • Retina Display (this has been a prediction of many ever since the event invitation was shared with the public)*
  • Better Rear Facing Camera (Comparable if not better than the iPhone 4S’ camera)
  • Improved Front Facing Camera
  • Discounted Pricing on iPad 2 models


There you have it. We’ll see what happens!  Maybe one of these days Apple will start live streaming their events so everybody can join in.

*The image at the top of this post is the invitation they sent out to “select” people.

Microsoft’s Last Keynote at CES 2012 Started With An AutoTune Remix

In case you missed Microsoft’s LAST Keynote at CES yesterday, here is the video that started the evening. It, honestly, is the most exciting thing that happened at the Keynote. Ryan Seacrest and Steve Ballmer were dangerously awkward the entire time, and don’t even get me started on the “Tweet Choir”

Although it went on entirely too long, this video is catchy (I suppose) and a desperate attempt to cling to the younger audience. Of course, auto tune is included free of charge. Never saw that one coming.

It sums up the last 15 Years of Keynotes at CES with Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer in just under 120 seconds (2 Minutes)

Can anybody shed some light as to why they are calling it the “Pogo” remix though?

Ant Smasher vs Frog & Lizard

When videos go viral, it’s always a good thing. I’m not arguing that. What I am arguing is how some of them gain the popularity they do. You may think I’m putting this as a complaint to the following videos. But, I’m not. I am actually very glad they received fame so quickly.

In other words, I discovered two interesting videos earlier. One is a lizard and one is a frog. They are both, in a sense, doing the same thing. Smashing Ants. Now, before you say, “WOW, never seen that before” — it’s not the same thing as you would see in the wild.

Only in the 21st century would we have household pets playing with Apps on Smartphones. I assume they are household pets at least. I mean, I would definitely own a bearded dragon. The big African bull frog however, I don’t have anything against, but that just isn’t the pet for me.

First, here is the video that I first saw. It’s the African Bull Frog I mentioned above. Because I’m a nice guy, I’ll warn you now: Don’t have your speakers all the way up. The ending of the video will scare you if you do. It’s not a “Screamer”, I promise this much, but it has a….how do I put it…. volume increase by something that you won’t expect.

Next we have a bearded dragon attempting the same task.   YouTube User thanatos454‘s comment was the best for this video, because it is completely true.  He/She said “Every time he looks at the camera it strikes me as a search for approval”


If you have a pet you too would like to confuse with this App, you can pick it up here. That is a link for Android Market… I don’t know if it’s available on iPhone or not, and I don’t care.

Why Does Google Patronize The Popular?

Am I the only one who has noticed that Google loves to give power features to those users who are popular or famous? Before you go all crazy on me, let me explain…

YouTube: This is the first one I feel disgruntled about.  Ever heard of the term Partner? Of course you have, and hearing about it is all you will ever do unless you reach a high amount of views and subscribes. I think it would be in Google’s best interest if they allowed anyone to be a Partner. It would make them more money then it would us.  So what if our videos were subpar? As long as somebody watched your videos, Google would make money. AND SO WOULD YOU.  Hello? Failing Economy?  It’s a NO BRAINER!

We would all like to be power users. Google could have a service for everyone called “Temp Partner” where everyone gets to feel the joy of being a YouTube Partner. If you didn’t keep up with your schedule, THEN you would be dropped from being a Partner. Badabing, Badaboom.

Google Plus: If you have a lot of people who have put you in their circles, you receive a plethora of new features as they roll out. The rest of us schoobies have to wait until they’ve been ran through the mud and boasted by big wigs. Screw us small wigs. We aren’t allowed to the party.  The big one I’m focusing on is Hangouts On Air. Now Google Plus power users can stream their hangouts to YouTube for the world to see. The rest of us who want to do this have to download software, subscribe to a service, etc. It’s ridiculous how they treat us.

I could go on and on, but I will stop before I blow my stack.


Chromebooks running Chrome OS: Where the heck are they?

First and foremost, I have been trying to find a Chromebook to test for ages. Yes, I realize that if I really want to test out the new “Chrome OS” all I have to do is use Google Chrome. Well, I’m using that now. Check. But I wanted to see this “quick startup” in “8 seconds flat” with my own two eyes.  And for the life of me I can’t find one to test. I’ve tried Best Buys all over, along with a lot of other big computer distributor companies, and nobody has a one.  They can’t be web only, or are they?

I’d like your input on places to find one.  I know Google recommends Tiger Direct, NewEgg, and some other company that escapes me.

If they really are online only, then that is a terrible marketing scheme. A lot of people (hence ME) like to try before you buy. I doubt Google plans on sending me one for a test run, but I’d be much appreciative if they did.


Thanks Google.




RIP Steve Jobs

This is a tribute to one the most iconic members of the tech industry. No, I never met Steve Jobs in person but his impact on me would have you believing otherwise. He was a wise man and the power behind Apple.

His legend will live on as a legendary CEO and innovator.

The most important thing to mention is he spent his final hours with his family, and you really can’t ask for anything more than that. Some people believe you have a sense to know when your time is near and I believe Jobs knew that. His memory will persist throughout the ages, and may God bless his family and friends.

Also, my cat Steve will now be called Steve Jobs from now on.

With care,

Windows 8 Developer Preview: “The Desktop”

However, the Desktop isn’t completely gone.  I feel it’s being very slowly fizzled out, but it still exists!

Doesn’t this look familiar? Of course! It’s the same UI as Windows 7, with the exception of a different looking Windows logo on the bottom left.  That button takes you to the tile’s I showed you in the previous post.

I can’t figure out how or  why they [Microsoft] would think that Windows Logo fits in with the taskbar, but apparently they think it does.

Windows 8 Developer Preview: The “Start Menu”

Start Menu is in quotations because it’s received a complete redesign.  It appears to have been completely replaced with the new “tiles” (aka Metro UI). Which fairs a striking resemblance to Windows Phone 7, hmm, wonder why?   Windows Phone 7 was highly based of the Zune interface, and now is seeking relations with Windows 8.

Here is the first screen you’ll run into. Like it or not, it’s here to stay.

Here are some of the “Apps” Microsoft has included in this Developer Preview.

So far, so good, but these are some awfully odd Apps to include: 

And this is the end of that screen, but never fret! I will be running some of the Apps and putting up even more of the Screenshots on this site! So stay tuned

Windows 8 Developer Preview: First Boot Part 2

You’ll go through this wave of settings (if you opt to do custom settings rather than the express settings)

You’ll notice that the “Use Windows Error Reporting” is turned off by default. Maybe Microsoft is finally starting to come out and say “We never check those, so why send them?

Looks like they are following Google’s footsteps by trying to force users to use their Windows Live account for “personalization” Now, you don’t have to use your Windows Live account, but you might as well.

If you don’t have a Windows Live account, it’s only a click away to create one in Windows 8.

Then the first boot starts to look familiar. You get that infamous “Preparing your PC” screen.

CCleaner for Mac

Why didn’t anybody tell me they released one of my favorite “Crap Cleaner’s” (CCleaner) for the Mac?  Granted, it’s still in the early BETA stages, it still seems to work like a charm!  I have been waiting for this release for awhile, so I am really glad to see it finally here!

Grab your copy here.

Office 365: Goodbye and Good Riddance

Received a very pleasant email from Microsoft today:

We hope you’ve had an opportunity to explore the features of your Office 365 trial.  Your trial expires in 30 day(s), but you can continue enjoying all the benefits by purchasing a  subscription today. If you do so within the next 30 day(s), you can continue to use the service  without any interruption or data loss.

Well, that was a fun run. But sorry Microsoft.

I’d rather stay with Google Docs since it’s, ya know, FREE.

However, I get practically the same features (minus the networking and emailing) with SkyDrive, so thanks!


Trial start date
Trial end date
It was a good run.

(Also, I was never told it was a trial — only that I was joining the BETA!)

Google Plus: A Complain Here, A Compliment There


OK. Time for some nit-picking, but don’t worry — there will be a few positive remarks thrown in there.

I have already complained enough (and so have many other Google Plus users) about the problem with the stream being, how do you say it, unreliable?  No, I’m not saying that it isn’t responsive — because it is. What I am saying is that it doesn’t seem to have the right organizing skills it needs. What does that mean?  Whenever a new post is added, it does show up at the top, as it should. However, if there is a post that I’ve commented on (and sometimes if someone else has commented on!) it shoots it back up to the top.  Although, yes, that does in a way keep you up to speed on what is happening, it makes it a little troublesome when it comes to receiving new posts.  I mean, if you didn’t comment on it, and it pops up again, it makes things a little aggravating.  But, I’ve sent feedback on this problem, and I know many other people have too.

Secondly, I like that Google has went through my gmail account and found what they believe to be “suggestions” for people I would be interested in putting into a circle. But, whenever I say “no I don’t want that person” there doesn’t seem to be any way to permanently clear that person as a recommendation. There is a tiny little “X” on the right when the suggestions show up on the left navigation bar. For the most part, that does get rid of them. But only on that navigation bar. Once I look at the rest of my recommendations, there they are again.  On that screen there is no way of removing them. They are there, whether you like it or not. Although this isn’t really a major problem, to me at least, it’s a little annoying. I’d like to be able to wipe away all the email addresses from newsletters and other places that Gmail has picked up over the years. I guess I could add them to my Circles, if I just wanted to raise my circle count, but that’s pointless because you know as well as I do that is never going to create a Google Plus account.

What do I like? Quite a bit. First of all, take a look at how long this post is. That is fantastic! Google Plus could be used as a Social Network in the aspect of short posts that give little updates. Or, you could rant away and treat this as a blog. But what makes this better than a blog? It’s social. Yes, blogs are social too, but this is the kind of pushy social that people have been looking for. You can just rant away and shove it into the people faces who have you in their circle. It’s instant That’s pretty neat.

Also, I like the idea that Google is starting with sharing to the Public. They aren’t doing the backwards way of Facebook, where the motto was “Private at the beginning, then slowly public”  Google Plus gives you the option right up front to throw your posts into the stratosphere and let anybody read them. With or without a Google Plus account. However, the option to make your posts “limited” is still there. I really like this. They are basically saying “We recommend you post this to everyone to read, but you don’t have too”

Could this replace a blog? Most definitely.


Originally posted on Google + 




Which Streaming Option Should I Use?

While still in the very early stages of the Matt Fowler Network, I’m trying to decide which live streaming option to use.  There really are so many, it’s hard to choose.

Right now, I’ve been playing around with, and I am happy with the results, but I am always interested in trying something different. I want to know what YOU use, or recommend.  I have created a poll with the top live streaming companies I know about.

Please take the time to vote here and let me know what you think.
If you know of one that isn’t on that list, please leave it in a comment either here or on my Facebook page. You can also tweet it to me.

I realize some will say that it’s best to have more than one option — just in case one is down for whatever reason. Although, yes, that is the best thing to do, I’m not ready to broadcast onto multiple platforms just yet. However, I will be one day — so your feedback still counts!

Thanks for the help!

Nyan Cat: Meet Nyan Bar

The creative minds behind YouTube (Google) have done something pretty amazing.

If you haven’t watched the addictive-ness that is Nyan Cat, go ahead and do that real quick.  Ok, are you back? Now that you’ve witnessed that… did you notice anything different about the playback bar?   Maybe this will help you remember:

Now, I’m sure the people behind this won’t do something like this to every video.  However, when a video has close to 17 million views, it has to draw some San Bruno, CA attention.  I hope that it’s not temporary, because I think it needs to stay.  It’s just too great.

However, as long as it does last, we get to see the Nyan Cat farting out Rainbows and running in both space and now the playback bar.



Facebook: Browse Securely (for once) in HTTPS

Facebook recently released a feature that they should of had a long time ago.

Most people don’t realize this, but when you browse Facebook, and even login to Facebook, all of your information is being sent in the clear.

What’s this mean? You are browsing their site on an “unsecured” (http: rather than https:) connection.
Which is typical for most websites, but with Facebook drawing the line with privacy as it is, you’d think this is something they would’ve embraced awhile back.

Considering 54% of computer users now admit to stealing or “piggy backing” an unsecured wireless connection, this could cause some serious problems for users who hijack an internet connection controlled by a hacker.

The new feature is found in your Account Settings, and allows you to browse Facebook on an encrypted (HTTPS) connection.

Whew, that’s a relief.  But wait… there is a stipulation… of course!

Although you are now allowed to browse Facebook securely, you aren’t allowed to play games this way! But wait, you’ve got to be kidding me? I’m not.

Whenever you click on one of your favorite games (We’ll use Family Feud for this example — one of my most played games!) you’ll see this dialog:

It appears that for whatever reason, Game Developers either haven’t embarked on the HTTPS option, or aren’t allowed too — yet.  Whenever you try to play a game, Facebook basically tell you “Either switch back to a normal connection — or don’t play your games”.  That’s not very nice.

So it would appear that once Facebook does a good deed for a change, there’s still a drawback. I guess it’s up to the user to decide to risk throwing out their information in the clear, or staying secure and being an anti-gamer.  Although, I’ve only tested this with games — I would imagine the same applies for Applications as well.

Just think..

When younger kids grow up, meaning ones who now  are currently 10 or younger — they will not know what it means to not have a cell phone, video game console, ipod, touch screen devices,  3D, high speed internet, social networking, among other things.

Is this good or bad?
One side of the spectrum says good, as the more children are involved with new age technology they are most likely to succeed.

However,  some believe that this anti social takeover is ruining today’s youth. They don’t want to go outside and proceed to eat twice as much. Hmm.

What do I feel? To each his own, for one.. but also if a person shows extreme interest in something it means they are displaying a passion. Regardless if its temporary or permanent.

Android 2.3

Edit: It appears I posted too soon. The update said system version 2.3.340 — but its Android version 2.2.1. So that means its coming, but not just yet!

Gingerbread An update that fooled me into thinking it was 2.3 is a go-go on my Droid X! That was quick, Google.

Verizon….try harder.

I’m reluctantly waiting.

Google Street View Car: That’s a Huge Camera!

I love catching Google Street View cars on Google Maps.  As many as I’ve seen, I’ve never seen this:

Most of the time when I catch one of these Google Cars —  I’m never able to see the camera, but rather the equipment that holds the camera. Somehow the camera itself always manages to “sneak out” of the shot. Not this time.

I honestly just dropped the little orange man on a random spot in Nevada and this came up, sometimes I love my luck.

The location is ?Interstate 80, Winnemucca, Nevada.


Anybody heard anything about Powermats? I mean I understand that it is something inside the back panels that connects wirelessly to the mat.  Something tells me it’s not safe. Could be wrong.

Little pricey, but I guess it’s a little worth it.

$99.99 Powermat Portable Recharging Mat.
Target or Best Buy

$29.99 iPhone or iPod Touch “receivers”

And $29.99 for a DS too! Yeah!
It sounds great, but it just almost seems like something that would either get your phone hot — and you know the problems that follow that. And then maybe it would screw up the charging system. Maybe thinking that it is fully charged when it’s not. I do know that when you have a constant WiFi connection the battery power is pleh (new word) on phones. Does just fine on iPhone/iPod Touch and DS. 😀

Hurrah! I hope it’s legit and non damaging…because…I want it.
It will make my blackberry, however, even less pocket friendly. Sadness on a silver platter.

I want one but I just wonder how legit they are. Not that it’s a scam, but maybe. Give it some thought at least.

Let me know what you think.

Fowler Takes on Vista

Well, I finally put Vista Ultimate on one of my computers, and I have to say (for the most part) I do like it.

It’s just like everyone said, XP with a New Skin. But there are some interesting features that make you go “Hey! That’s cool!”

I’m working on a full review of Vista, that I don’t know when I plan on releasing, but so far this is what I have come up with in a nutshell:

The Good->

  • Vista seems to run really nice and secure, and the Windows Defender actually works
  • Lots of new programs -> Windows DVD Maker, Windows Meeting Place, BitLocker, etc!
  • New Skin, Aero, very nice!
  • Windows Sidebar actually is very useful
  • Pretty to the eye – Lots of Candy for your pleasure!
  • Networking functionality is absolutely awesome

The Bad->

  • Windows Internet Explorer runs dominant,
  • No different commands…XP Version 2? (This can also kinda-sorta be a good thing)
  • Too many Mac OS X copied features…
  • OneCare…sucks….end of story
  • Sound Cards….What? (I’ll explain later)
  • Vista…dumb name

Although I could go on and on with The Good and The Bad of Windows Vista, I decided to keep them even..


There is a new Blog service around. It’s called Vox.

It’s by the brilliant people who brought you such things as Live Journal and TypePad, SixaPart.

I don’t know what their plans are, but it’s free by invitation right now.

I received my invitation today, check out my blog on there.. Don’t worry, I’m not converting — I’m staying with, but it’s just something to mess with.


Windows Live Safety Scanner

Hello Readers… Sorry that it has taken me so long to post anything, but lately I have just been really busy. Anyways, this post is going to be a rant about something I just discovered on the new build of Messenger 8.0 BETA. (If you haven’t gotten this new MSN just yet, head on over to and sign up for it).

I installed NOD32 from having AVG (I test AntiViruses- it’s what I do – NOD32 is much better than AVG – but I’ve actually known this for awhile) and decided that it was time to change my Messenger Virus Scanner. Well, when I Went to Tools and Options, then File Transfer. I discovered this:

I clicked “Install”, and like it says, it began installing a Free virus scanner.
Whether or not this works out ok, I don’t know. Nobody has sent me a file just
yet, but at least Microsoft is trying. That is all I can say.

That is all for now.


Internet Explorer 7 – Pros/Cons

I just noticed on the internet today that Internet Explorer: Beta 2 Preview was released. When the official date and time of this was, I have no clue, because this was the first I heard of a ‘public’ release.

Well, I picked up a copy of it (its what I’m using now) and so far it hasn’t been all that bad. This might be Firefox in the final release. (I hold my tounge on that remark)

Here are the Pros and Cons I have found in this release:
Pros (Might as well start off good)
-The Tabbed browsing seems very effecient and very fluent.
– So far the RSS feature is very nice
– Phishing Filter seems to work (Though I have not had it tell me any site is bad — which is good!)
– Love the added Search bar, now there is no need for the extra download of Google Toolbar. (After you upgrade the search to Google – which it prompts you to do as soon as you visit the Google homepage)
– I love the Zoom feature- Can magnify pages up to 1000X
– Quick Tabs — The ability to view all your tabs on one page, reminds me of Mac OS X’s Expose (CTRL + Q)
– It’s called Windows Internet Explorer now, not Microsoft… Heh, why is this a pro?

Cons (It does have them — after all, its still IE)
– The new layout is very confusing – It took me awhile to get used to it, but I do like it a lot better than IE 6!
– I know this is still a Beta release, but it has proved to be semi-unstable. Some things that you do cause it to get confused and crash itself and Dr. Watson (Don’t know why Dr. Watson but it does!)
– Popup Blocker hasn’t been upgraded at all from what I can see, they just changed the way it looks so it matches the new design.(Major disappointment from me)
– You have to press CTRL+ALT to disable the popup blocker now – and it puts the new window in a Tab.. Microsoft: You are flaunting the tab feature. Stop it.
– They copied Mozilla’s Tab Browsing Hot Keys (CTRL + T , Clicking with the Scroll Wheel, CTRL Clicking)
– When you view a page that tells you what it ‘thinks’ your browser is, it says Netscape 4 (What’s up with that? Like the page
– What’s up with their logo? Looks like they actually might have Down Graded the logo– ATTN Microsoft: Please design a better logo!

In All Out, this is a definite must have upgrade from Internet Explorer 6, at least I would wait until it is officially released if you are a Beginning user, even Experienced users might want to wait. Or you can just stay with IE 6 and continue using it or Firefox. You’re choice.

I, myself, might actually start using IE 7 as my default browser again. Sorry Firefox, but IE 7 is proven to decent.


Dreamweaver 8 / Blogger Problems

Hi again…

Well I tried to post about Dreamweaver 8 last week when I had some time, but I got a bunch of errors and didn’t have the time to try and fix them. So here I am finally, on this Saturday, posting about Macromedia’s Web Editor, Dreamweaver, new version 8. It’s good. I like it. Which I’ve always been a fan of Dreamweaver, and when they announced of a new version I was right on top of it.

Those familar with Dreamweaver MX 2004 will find this one to be very similar. They just added a few extra things, and the HTML scripting is better. I cannot write all the new things and upgrades so just visit the site here.

Blogger… What a tool. If you read in my previous posts (and now on my web site) I’ve been thinking of switching to WordPress from Blogger for quite some time. And last week when I got those blogger problems it pushed my limit. I like Blogger, don’t get me wrong, but it just doesn’t give what a powerful one like WordPress does.

I also will like WordPress better (If I choose to switch) because they will run directly off of, on its own MySQL database and everything. Rather than Blogger uploading to my site. (Which means there SHOULD be less errors)

I don’t even know if you’ll get to read this post now, but I’m going to attempt it.


Windows OneCare – My Review

Many of you have saw, or at least, heard of Microsoft’s new idea to stop their PC’s from having problems once and forever. Well they are probably going to turn this into a Subscription service, and if its around 10-20 dollars a year I recommend it to anybody. But if its any more than that stay away from it. Go here to read my review of Windows OneCare: (The Ins & Outs)

No… this is something new I’m starting, its just where I’ll hold my reviews from now on.

A Well Thought out and Organized… Audio Post #1

Introducing: A well thought out, and well organized….Audio post!
They will now include a Transcript, of course because I cannot be organized, they will always include Screw ups, and ad libbing.

Here is the Transcript:

Hello again Audio-blog listeners.
Matt here, once again.
I have to say I have gotten addicted to this audio blogging, its just
so fun to do, you know what I mean? If you have not done it yet
go to and use your free Blogger account to
create a post. Its a simple thing to do all you need is a phone
that can call long distance.
First off, I want to say, incase you could not already tell, that I am going to
be doing Transcripts from now on of what I say in my audio posts.
If you have been listening to my previous posts, they sucked pretty much.
They were not very organized. So now I am preparing my posts before hand
so I won’t do embarassing things such as “Uhhh” and “Ummm”, and especially
so I won’t crack like I did in my last post saying “Piano”.
I am also doing Transcripts just in case you couldn’t understand what I said
and so you won’t think “Did he say what I just think he said!?”
Secondly, major updates being done and more on the way.
See my blog? New logo and everything. I finally fixed it to where it doesn’t
repeat at the bottom, minor HTML error. Blogger is free and works great, but it has those
kind of problems.
If you noticed I have a new Moblog account with TextAmerica. View it by going to
The first post on there is my new iPod, got it fresh from Apple a couple of days ago.
Finally, As you may or may not know, I sent off for a Leo Laporte autograph about a week ago. Still nothing. When I get it, I will post a scanned copy of it on here. That is, if I ever do get it.
If you want your own autograph visit
That is .shtml not .html Try and not get those confused.
Well I am done for posting for now, I will post later on through the week, Have
a great weekend!